${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Texas Gulf Coast
832-632-2102
Austin
512-279-6431
Harlingen
956-421-4904
San Antonio
210-227-3243

Someone once said, "All politics is local." And nothing hits so close to home as municipal level politics. The normal cycle of things has elections, initiatives and referendums occurring on a regular schedule in compliance with applicable laws.

On occasion, however, conditions arise that spark action in the opposite direction resulting in a recall election process. Once again, it is incumbent on those in positions of power to be sure any steps taken regarding recall action occur in accordance with the law. Transparency is an important factor.

It is worth noting that authority to conduct recall elections is not controlled by either the Texas Constitution or state law. Rather, it is the exclusive reserve of local governments that have a charter -so-called "home rule cities" - and then only if the charter contains a specific provision allowing recalls. Even then, most charters spell out how the process must advance. Avoiding missteps becomes crucial to maintaining integrity.

An example of the kind of legal challenge that can occur is evident in a matter in Plano. Efforts had been underway to remove one City Council member over allegedly inflammatory social media posts he made. Voters had submitted a petition with what was believed to be the appropriate number of signatures and the city secretary had certified it. Plans called for a recall election to be held this November.

However, last month, a State District judge ordered an end to the recall. He made the determination after finding that there were two nearly identical charters in existence. The only difference between them was in the language about the date of the election that should be used to assess signature validations. In the end, the judge said the secretary had used the wrong one, rejecting the petition and ordering the recall ended.

No appeal by the city is planned.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • San Antonio Office map

    San Antonio Office
    2517 North Main Avenue
    San Antonio, TX 78212

    Phone: 210-227-3243
    Map & Directions

    Harlingen Office
    701 East Harrison
    Suite 100
    Harlingen, TX 78550

    Phone: 956-421-4904
    Harlingen Law Office Map

    Austin Office
    2500 W. William Cannon
    Suite 609
    Austin, TX 78745

    Phone: 512-279-6431
    Map & Directions

    League City Office
    549 N. Egret Bay Blvd.
    Suite 200
    League City, TX 77573

    Map & Directions

  • Austin Office map
  • Harlingen Office map